• September 29 down the years

'Unplanned' Ferrari finish backfires at US GP

What happened in Formula One history on this day?
Rubens Barrichello beats Michael Schumacher by 0.011 seconds at the Brickyard © Sutton Images

Rubens Barrichello won the US Grand Prix by 0.011 seconds from Michael Schumacher after a staged Ferrari finish backfired. The pair had dominated the race and then came around the banked final corner side-by-side in a show of Ferrari dominance at Indianapolis. However, Schumacher, who had led the race throughout, dropped back fractionally too far and handed Barrichello the win. After the race it was widely believed that he intended to let Barrichello win all along, in order to repay his team-mate for moving over on the final lap of the Austrian Grand Prix the same year. The theory was denied by Ferrari, but reading between the lines it was backed up by the drivers' comments. "To win, it was very, very, very good," Barrichello said after the race. "I got to the last corner, I didn't know what to do and nothing has been said. Michael was just very kind to, you know, let us finish equally. I guess I pointed a little bit in front, but, you know, what can we say?" Schumacher added: "The end of the race was not planned. We tried to cross the line together but failed by a tiny bit and in fact we did not know who had won until we got out of the cars. I just felt Rubens deserved to win this race."

Nigel Mansell won the Spanish Grand Prix despite twisting his ankle days before the event playing football. It was the first race to be held at the Circuit de Catalunya outside Barcelona and is still widely regarded to be the best. At the start he fell back to fourth in damp conditions but quickly moved back up the field as the circuit dried and cars pitted for slick tyres. Mansell kept his car on the track as others made mistakes and he eventually came out on top in battles with Ayrton Senna and Gerhard Berger. "When Ayrton spun I was not sure which way he was going to come back, so momentarily I didn't know which way to go - fortunately I picked the right side," he said. "With Gerhard it was probably a little bit tougher because we both dived into the corner very deep, we both lost our traction and we were very close."

The Czech Grand Prix was the last major event of the season and with Mercedes staying away, it was a straight battle between Auto Union and Scuderia Ferrari. Bernd Rosemeyer won for Auto Union with three Ferraris right behind him, but team-mate Hans Stuck was forced out when hit in the face by a bird. For Rosemeyer there was double cause for celebration; at the victory ceremony he met the girl who was later to become his wife.

John Foulston, who a year earlier had bought Brands Hatch, Oulton Park and Snetterton for £5.2 million, was killed while testing a McLaren IndyCar at Silverstone. He was 40.